Port Townsend: City officials retool City Hall renovation and annex projects in the wake of costly bids

PORT TOWNSEND — City planners have a new scheme for renovating the landmark City Hall and building a new annex.

After the first round of construction bids came in 23 percent over the project budget, the city was forced to rethink its strategy.

The new blueprint, shown to the City Council on Thursday night, differed from the original project, with approximately $550,000 in cost reductions.

It abandoned the initial aim of sheet metal repair in the interior of the old building.

In addition, the planners now say they will not replace the asbestos-lined ceiling, and will delete plans for sprinklers in the old building.

The historical City Hall will retain the original radiators as another cost-cutting measure, according to the new proposal.

Historical society agrees

The Jefferson County Historical Society, which currently occupies the building, had no objections to the project deletions.

Instead, it sent a representative to Thursday’s City Council meeting to reinforce the society’s commitment and support of the project.

“The minor details we can work out,” said society director Bill Tennent, “but the most important thing is to make sure that this building stands for another hundred years.”

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